Sheep trade: Base price hits new low of 430c/kg

There’s a wide range in factory quotes this week. After QA is factored in quotes are ranging from 445c/kg to 455c/kg, while 430c/kg is the lowest base price on offer.

It should also be noted that as of the week ending October 6, the lamb kill was down by 2,495 head and totaled 53,844 head.

Factory quotes

This week, Kildare Chilling (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 445c/kg +10c/kg QA (payable up to a carcass of 21kg).

Irish Country Meats (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 435c/kg + 10c/kg QA (payable up to a carcass of 21.5kg).

And finally, Kepak Athleague (Monday quote) is offering a base price of 430c/kg + 15c/kg QA (payable up to a carcass of 21kg).

In addition, cast ewes are making 230-250c/kg in sheep processing plants (payable up to a carcass of 40kg).

Spring lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 430c/kg + 15c/kg QA;
  • Kildare Chilling: 445c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 435c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Cast ewe quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 230c/kg;
  • Kildare Chilling: 240c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Irish Country Meats: 230c/kg.

Throughput

As referenced above, the number of spring lambs processed was 53,844 head – a decrease of 2,495 head on the previous week.

Hogget supplies at Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 62 head – a decrease of 150 head – for the week ending October 6.

In addition, cast (ewe and ram) slaughterings increased by 1,305 and amounted to 11,387.

Furthermore, overall supplies decreased by 1,355 head in the week ending October 6.

Cumulative figures for the year-to-date have reached 2,063,263 head, down almost 200,000 head on the 2018 figure of 2,262,339.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (week ending October 6):

  • Hoggets: 62 head (-150 or -70%);
  • Spring lambs: 53,844 head (-2,499 or -4.4%);
  • Ewes and rams: 11,387 head (+1,305 or +12.94%);
  • Total: 66,643 head (-1,335 or -2%).

‘Farmers cannot accept that factories continue to cut lamb prices’

Factories are quoting a base price as low as 430c/kg this week. This is a huge drop compared to two months ago when quotes were at 495c/kg.

“Sheep farmers cannot accept the cuts in factory lamb prices, which is leading to their incomes being eroded,” according to the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) national sheep chairman Sean Dennehy.

The IFA is demanding that carcass weights be immediately moved up to 22kg at this time of year.

“Farmers cannot accept that factories continue to cut lamb prices when there is little or no change in retail prices.

“Farmers are now back €11/head on their lambs,” Sean concluded.

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